ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Basra 19
BAVA BASRA 19 (26 Nisan) - has been dedicated by Mr. Avi Berger (Queens,
N.Y.) in memory of his mother, Leah bas Michel Mordechai in honor of her
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Reuven must move his laundry-pit three
Tefachim from the wall of Shimon's pit (i.e. three Tefachim from the
border). Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah qualifies this - by confining it
to the pit called 'Mechamtzan' (in which the laundry is first soaked for a
day or two), but the pit called 'Nadyan' (in which the washing is actually
washed, causing the water to splash long distances, must be placed at least
four Amos away from Shimon's pit.
(b) We substantiate Rav Nachman's distinction - by citing a Beraisa which
gives the Shiur of a laundry-pit as four Amos, which can only be reconciled
with our Mishnah by explaining it like Rav Nachman.
(c) According to Rav Chiya B'rei de'Rav Ivya's text in our Mishnah, the
matter is clearer still - since his version of our Mishnah reads
'Ela-im-Kein Hirchik mi'Sefas *Mechamtzan* Sheloshah Tefachim'.
(a) We conclude the first group of prohibitions listed in our Mishnah ('Bor
Samuch le'Boro ... ') with 've'Sad be'Sid', and we ask whether it should not
perhaps read 'O Sad be'Sid'. And we attempt to resolve the She'eilah, based
on the second group of prohibitions ('es ha'Geffes ... '), which concludes
'O Sad be'Sid'. Now if the Reisha also reads 'O Sad be'Sid', then why did
the Tana not combine the two sets?
(b) We refute this proof however, on the grounds - that the Tana might state
'O Sad be'Sid', and still list them as two sets - because their reasons
differ (since the first set is because of wetness, and the second set,
because of foul air.
(c) We cite the Beraisa where Rebbi Yehudah requires both neighbors to dig
their pits in 'Sela ha'Ba be'Yadayim' three Tefachim from the border and to
cement them with lime - implying that a pit dug in ordinary earth does not
require both steps (in which case, the text in the Reisha of our Mishnah
must read 'O Sad be'Sid').
(d) We refute this proof too, however - by equating the Din by any other
ground with that of a 'Sela ha'Ba be'Yadayim', and the Tana only mentions
'Sela ha'Ba be'Yadayim' to teach us that even there, three Tefachim distance
plus cementing the pit with lime will suffice.
(a) We learned in a Mishnah in Shabbos 'Ein Tomnin Lo be'Geffes, ve'Lo
be'Zevel, ve'Lo be'Melach, ve'Lo be'Sid, ve'Lo be'Chol'. The glaring
discrepancy between that Mishnah and ours is - that the Tana there omits
rocks, whereas our Tana omits sand.
(b) Abaye cites the Beraisa 'Tomnin be'Gizei Tzemer ... u'vi'Leshonos shel
Argaman', posing a Kashya on Rav Yosef's explanation - that the Tana there
omits rocks because it is unusual to use rocks for keeping hot pots warm
(though that only answers half the Kashya anyway), since it is no more
common to use shearings of wool and 'tongues of wool' for that purpose, yet
the Tana mentions them.
(c) Abaye therefore answers 'Yagid Alav Re'o' - by which he means that the
Tana mentions rocks once and sand once, and it is understood that what is
written in one place applies to the other.
(d) Rava refute Abaye's answer however - because then the Tana should have
listed one of the things in one place and all the rest in the other.
(a) Rava finally answers - that the Tana ...
1. ... there omits rocks - because, seeing as they would break the pot (or
cause it to rust) a person would avoid using them for Hatmanah.
(b) Nevertheless, Rebbi Oshaya, who forbids Reuven to place his sand within
three Tefachim of Shimon's wall - by establishing his ruling by wet sand.
2. ... here omits sand - since, although on the one hand, sand keeps warm
things warm, on the other, it keeps cold things cold (in which case,
Reuven's sand will pose no threat to Shimon's wall).
(c) Our Tana does not find it necessary to insert wet sand however, since he
has already included a stream of water. Nevertheless, he finds it necessary
to insert a a laundry-pit (despite his already having mentioned a stream of
water) - because we would not know one from the other, as we will now
(d) We would not have known ...
1. ... a laundry-pit from a stream of water - because its use is not
constant like the latter.
2. ... a stream of water from a laundry-pit - because it is not static like
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Reuven must distance his seeds and his
plow at least three Tefachim from Shimon's wall. The Tana needs to insert
1. ... seeds - by someone who hand-seeds and then uses a spade to cover the
seeds rather than a plow.
(b) Granted, we have already learned that watering is harmful to a wall, and
trees require watering - but our Tana is speaking in Eretz Yisrael, about
which the Torah writes "li'Metar ha'Shamayim Tishteh Mayim", and which does
not therefore need to be manually watered.
2. ... plowing - because he is speaking about when Reuven intends to plant
*trees* and not seeds.
(a) The Mishnah in Kil'ayim forbids seeding the area directly above a
replanted branch of an attached vine. The Tana of a Beraisa comments - that
one may seed immediately beside the vine.
(b) The Tana must be speaking about a solitary vine (or even up to four
vines) - because five vines constitute a vineyard, in which case it would be
forbidden to seed even at the side, because of 'Irbuv' (mixing seeds with a
(c) Clearly then, seeds grow upwards and not sideways. To resolve this with
our Mishnah, which requires a distance of three Tefachim between Reuven's
seeds and Shimon's wall, Rebbi Chaga quoting Rebbi Yossi explains - that it
is (not because they directly harm Shimon's wall, but) because they sap the
strength from the earth around them, causing the earth underneath the wall
to become soft.
(a) Rabah bar Rav Huna learns from the Pasuk in Melachim "ve'Hichrati
le'Achav Mashtin ba'Kir ... " - that one is allowed to urinate next to
someone else's wall.
(b) He establishes our Mishnah 've'es Mei Raglayim min ha'Kosel Sheloshah
Tefachim' - by 'Shofchin', pouring out a relatively large quantity of urine
there, and not to urinating.
(c) Rabah bar Rav Huna is proved wrong however - on the basis of a Beraisa,
which specifically forbids urinating within three Tefachim of a wall ...
(d) ... of bricks - but not one of stones, which only requires a distance of
(e) Consequently, the Pasuk in Melachim, "Mashtin ba'Kir" refers (not to
human-beings, but) to dogs (meaning that not even a dog, who tends to
urinate against walls, will remain).
(a) When Rav Tuvi bar Kisna Amar Shmuel says 'Rakik Eino Mema'et ba'Chalon',
he means - that a thin loaf of bread (like a Pitah) which fills a window
between a room where a corpse is lying and another room, leaving a gap of
less than a Tefach, will not prevent the Tum'ah from passing through to the
(b) The reason that he mentions a thin loaf is (not to preclude a thick loaf
from this Din, but) - to teach us that even a thin loaf, which becomes more
dirty than a thick one, retains its identity and does not become Batel to
(c) Although anything that is subject to Tum'ah does not prevent Tum'ah from
passing through - Shmuel is talking about a loaf which was kneaded with
fruit-juice, and which is therefore not subject to Tum'ah.
(a) We ask on Shmuel from a Beraisa. The Tana rules that a box full of straw
or a barrel full of dried-figs is lying on a window-sill that divides
between a room in which there is a corpse and another room will prevent the
Tum'ah from passing into the second room - provided the straw or the figs
would remain there if one were to removed their respective containers.
(b) The straw will prevent the Tum'ah from passing through under those
circumstances, due to the fact that it is unfit ...
1. ... to be fed to his animals - because it has turned moldy.
(c) And we do not contend with the fact that it is fit to fuel a big fire -
because that is uncommon.
2. ... for making cement - because it contains thorns.
3. ... for fuel - because it is wet.
(d) Neither are the figs fit to eat - because the Tana speaks when they have
(a) The barrel itself (that contains the figs) does not prevent the Tum'ah
from passing through, despite the fact that the outside of an earthenware
barrel is not subject to Tum'ah and is therefore Chotzetz before Tum'ah -
because the Tana speaks when it is the front of the barrel that is facing
(b) Alternatively - he is speaking about a metal barrel, in which case it
makes no difference which end of the barrel faces the corpse.